Trio Of Important First Sale Cases All Hit Appeals Court In Early June

from the it's-first-sale-month dept

Zusha Elinson has noted that a trio of important cases concerning the "first sale doctrine" in copyright law will all be heard on appeal in the (at times wacky) 9th Circuit in early June. We've written about all three cases here before. There's UMG v. Augusto, which questions whether or not it's legal to resell "promo CDs" that record labels stamp "not for resale." In that case, the judge ruled that reselling was perfectly fine, and preventing such sales was a violation of the first sale doctrine (and would, effectively, give record labels a way of creating perpetual and all-controlling copyright, if the decision went the other way). Then there's Autodesk v. Vernor, similarly involving the right to resell software. Again, the district court ruled that this was allowed, noting that software is really sold, not (as Autodesk claimed) just licensed.

The third case is the troubling one. MDY v. Blizzard is the one case that went the other way, in a ruling that left many copyright experts scratching their heads, noting that it seemed to go against everything that the first sale doctrine stood for -- and that nothing the guy did (he made a bot that worked in World of Warcraft) actually violated copyright law.

Hopefully, the appeals court upholds the first two cases and reverses the third... but these days, you never know how courts are going to rule on these sorts of issues. And, the 9th Circuit is often notoriously... weird in some of its rulings. Either way, these are three cases worth watching, as they could have a pretty big impact on the question of whether or not you have the right to do what you want with products you bought.
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Filed Under: augusto, copyright, first sale, mdy, vernor
Companies: autodesk, blizzard, umg


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  1. identicon
    YourSoftwareDeveloper, 10 Sep 2010 @ 10:36pm

    In detail

    A lot of people especially the WOW players see this as a total "Blizzard vs the Botters" argument.

    But it goes much deeper then that.
    What is at stake are your basic computer and electronic freedoms.
    Do you understand what they are saying?
    They are saying if you just load a copy of a program in to RAM then you are breaking the law of copyrights.
    And you have to understand out legal system works.
    These things set a legal precedent for any other related thing.

    Then next it's Microsoft or someone else telling you what you can and can't run on your computer.
    That's just an example, it can get much worse.

    Don't you think that you paid for your computer, your paid for your software, you do what you want with it?
    As long as you are not doing obviously illegal things like violating Chapter 18 (network hacking), etc.

    Furthermore Blizzard, and other particular corporate developers have this big winded EULA, etc., that says hey what ever you buy, what ever they do, etc. They are not responsible for it.
    In other words buy or software and pay $15 a month but we owe you nothing.
    Yet we own/control what you can do with your own money you just spent on us.
    Where is your representation and rights as a consumer?

    And these same people that are saying "Yeah Blizzard" . Do you actually stop and read the all the WOW "legal" agreements first before you make your opinions?

    Imagine if Ford motors (no offense, just an example) did this back in the early 1920.
    And basically controlled all sides of their cars and what ever they could of the auto industry.
    To this day you would have to buy everything Ford.
    Including tires, you would have to buy only Ford Gas, etc.
    What would happen to all of the facets of the auto industry today?
    All of the third party companies, the jobs of thousands of mechanics, etc., etc.

    Blizzard (not to mention the MPAA, RIAA, Sony, etc.) want this kind of control of people now.

    At the heart of it is the corruption and greed that is all through our government now.
    Look what Sony, and these others are doing with ACTA to totally circumvent due process the right of America to vote.
    Our laws are being sold wholesale to the highest bidder.

    If they can't get some bill passed in a upfront in an honest way, they will just pay corrupt law and lobbyist firms. In-turn who pay off cheap some corrupt congressmen, and, or, Senators to add their wanted law(s) as a rider to a completely unrelated Bill.

    Furthermore Blizzard's lawyers should be disbarred for their "legal" extortion attempts.
    They file threats, phony DMCA take-downs, etc., for things they know that is perfectly legal (like simple screen shots).

    Also does this stop botting in WOW or any other MORPG et al?
    Most certainly not. There many people that use private bots, not to mention many commercial bots that are available from companies off shore.

    All this legislation just kills more and more industry here in America.
    This means less small businesses, less, jobs, less GDP, etc.; the end result less money flowing in our own country.
    Then people wonder how our economy is so bad, why they have no job, etc.
    How places like San Jose, California, etc., that were once bustling with tech businesses become a virtual Ghost town.
    The companies moving to other states, or worse off shore.

    For the corporate mentality, and the corrupt paid off creatons in our government (virtually acts of treason) though it's committing such suicide, it doesn't care.
    It's all about how much profit can I MAKE NOW, TODAY; screw your well being, sell your own mother, screw the country, screw our future, the future of not only your own grandchildren but your grandchildren's children.

    Don't support greedy corporations that do anything for the dollar.
    Maybe not everyone at Blizzard, but certainly the bean counters doing all this litigation.

    And if you don't want to loose what ever freedoms, for what ever the Constitution stands for you have to be informed, speak up, vote, and fight, fight, fight!

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